In 1989 a Comox Valley Family Life Conference on Human Services was held at the Kingfisher Inn. As a result of that conference a Mayor’s Committee on Social Planning was established in Courtenay. Over the next five years, the Mayor’s Committee hosted forums on Public Participation in Community Planning, Youth Violence, and participated in the Official Community Plan Processes.
These efforts led to the Comox Valley Social Planning Society being incorporated in BC on June 21, 1996, with a mission to promote social planning as a process for developing a healthy community in the Comox Valley. Since then the CVSPS has been operating with a network of elected officials, organizations and individuals.
In 2000 CVSPS successfully hosted a Community Development Institute that brought groups together from all over the island to discuss and strategize around topics related to social planning in local communities.
In 2002 CVSPS secured funding and hired staff for the first “Quality of Life” report in the Comox Valley. Subsequent reports were released in 2004, 2009, and 2014. In 2016 and 2018 we partnered with the Comox Valley Community Foundation and the United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island to produce a “Vital Signs” report – http://cvcfoundation.org/vital-signs/
One of the meeting formats used in the early years and still in practice today is the Brown Bag Lunch. The Brown Bag Lunch has evolved into an annual gathering of agencies involved in social services in the Valley who discuss current issues, challenges, and opportunities.
In 2017 the CVSPS began collaborating with Living Wage of Families (http://www.livingwageforfamilies.ca ) to calculate the Living Wage for Families for the Comox Valley and have advocated to local governments and local businesses to consider paying a living wage.
In 2018 the CVSPS began meeting bi-annually with other social planning organizations across Vancouver Island and Powell River to share information and collaborate on promoting social planning in our communities.
In the Fall of 2019, we hosted a Social Planning Workshop with the Comox Valley Community Health Network that brought together local government representatives to build consensus on furthering social planning in the Comox Valley.